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How long do you normally take to adjust to a med switch?

Lala329LLala329 Posts: 283
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:50 AM in Pain Medications

I know everybody is *very* different in how they react to meds, but I was just wondering about how long most people take to adjust to narcotics when their meds are switched. I recently had to switch and to prevent similar tolerance issues I'll be doing a med rotation. I think it's a good idea, but I seem to lose *weeks* at a time tapering down off one med and then starting a new one and waiting for all the nausea/vomiting/sleepy yucky feeling to go away. Usually the first 3-4 days are the worst on the new med, but it seems like it does take me a few weeks to really settle into it. Is losing weeks at a time to med adjustments just part of what it means to manage chronic pain with meds long-term?? Any tips for making the transition time easier?



  • I've found that taking the meds on a full stomach helps the most. It prevents the drug from being absorbed too quickly and seems to alleviate a lot of the side effects.
  • I usually give a new medication at least one month. It does take most medications several days or even weeks to build up to a sufficient blood plasma level and then to give your body time to acclimate to the new medication before making a decision about how well it works or won't work.
    In most cases, there is a period of titration to effect, which means that the dose is slowly increased to allow the most pain relief with the minimum of side effects. That can take more than a month before making decisions about the effectiveness of a specific medication.
  • Like you said every one is different. I find taking a med on empty stomach helps it to work quicker for me.

    If I had to give it a ball park guess for a return to "normal" I would say 2 to 3 weeks ( for me ).

    Hope you have GREAT success with your changes :D
    L1 - S2 "gone" useless in 1 way or another. DDD. RA. Bone Spurs. Tons of nerve damage/issues. Stenosis. Both knees replaced. 50 yrs old. I had a great fall (hence my user name) at age 41 and it has been a domino effect every since.
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